Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Pragaash" and "Muafinaama" to compete against each other at two prominent film festivals this February

Last year, nearly half-a-dozen new born babies, mostly girls, were abandoned in Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir also recorded a huge decline in sex ratio in 2011 census. The menace of girl abandonment is growing by the fold. With a message to end discriminations against the girl child, “Muafinaama” or ‘The Atonement’ will be showcased at the Darbhanga International Film Festival 2015 in Darbhanga, Bihar which is happening from 19th to 22nd February 2015. Simultaneously, it will also be screened at the 2nd Uttarakhand Short Film Festival at Survey Auditorium in Dehradun on 22nd February 2015.

Muafinaama is about a Kashmiri Pandit guy who falls in love with a Kashmiri Muslim girl and struggles to get her. The film also holds a parallel story line about the increasing menace of child abandonment. The film, according to award winning director Mohan Das, is inspired by the numerous child abandonment cases in Kashmir last year. “A woman is a full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. Then why do we want to abandon her when she has just come into this world? When are we gonna change this mindset? Muafinaama's tries to portray the repentance of a man amidst various social and political uncertainties. It also looks at dilemmas and repentance of the protagonist after he fails to save the abandoned child,” Mohan Das told Films & TV World. "The film will be represented by one of the producers Lashyaban Kashyap at the Uttarakhand Short Film Festival, whose contribution to the film is immense. I will represent the film in Darbhanga," added Das.
Mohan Das who also shot his docu-feature “Pragaash” in Kashmir last February is also showcasing his film at both these festivals. Speaking about “Pragaash” he says,” Pragaash throws light on the situation of today’s Kashmir that is No More a Troubled Paradise. And my aim was to show it as paradise for people. The film has an emotion narrative in Hindi, English and Kashmiri with real life characters from the valley. Apart from showcasing the beautiful locales of Dal Lake, the Nigeen Lake, Pari Mahal, Shalimar Gardens, Nishat Bagh, Hazrat Bal Mosque, the Jama Masjid and the Kashmir University, we have also captured the stretch from Srinagar to Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg. However, this is not a travelogue but a story on human bonding and relationships.”

The film features real life characters for bringing out the essence – especially a guitarist and lead singer of a Kashmir-based band ValleyBoyz, Mohammad Rafi. Speaking more about this project, he adds: “I have always wanted to shoot in Kashmir – the Paradise on Earth, which I had seen so well in the movies. Yet what have never been shown across is the beautiful minds of the people here. The hearts of people are as pure as snow and the warmth that exudes not from the Kangri, but from within their hearts. This project is going to showcase both – the beauty of Kashmir vis-a-vis the beauty of people on the inside, not the outside.”

No wonder then that both the film is not only diametrically different from each other but the soft romantic story with high paced drama will make the watching engrossing to captivate the audiences. Whether it brings home some awards is another factor altogether.

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